Lufthansa changed their livery recently. It was not universally appreciated and I can’t say I disagree. It really is rather dull. I hadn’t even bothered to keep an eye on whether it was on a jet coming to Seattle. Instead, while out in Federal Way, I saw a 747 heading my way so decided to take a couple of shots. Turns out it was the new colors (or lack thereof). Soon it will be a common sight as they repaint the fleet but this was my first encounter.
When we visited the Pacific Bonsai Museum, the parking lot was by a large office building that seemed pretty strange. It was settled in a valley between two ridges with multiple levels with much greenery attached. I was curious about it when we arrived and decided to look further when we came back. It appeared that you could almost see through the building on some levels. When we got closer, it was clear that the building wasn’t in use – at least on the level we were.
When we got home, Nancy did a little more research on it. It used to be the headquarters of the Weyerhaeuser company. It was considered quite a cutting edge place when it was built but the company has moved downtown and I am not sure whether anyone is using it now. It does appear to be maintained and there are security patrols but not much seems to be going on. We debated whether it would be a nice place to work or a bit far from stuff and isolated.
I have seen full sized trees being trained or supported with structures put in place to keep their growth where intended. I had never thought about it being applied to bonsai though. However, while trimming is a key part of shaping a bonsai, there are more direct approaches like wiring along branches to keep them going as intended. A close look at some of the exhibits at the Pacific Bonsai Museum showed how this was done. The clever bit was that these additions were not so conspicuous and didn’t ruin the appearance of the tree.
Located in Federal Way, the Pacific Bonsai Museum is not the easiest place to find. It shows up in my GPS but, when you arrive at the turning, the signage is either too small for me to spot or nonexistent. I turned in to the entrance, more as an act of faith. Once on the access road, there were signs but then you drive for a long time before you get to the place. You do start to wonder whether it is a spoof.
Once there, though, it is worth it. Entrance is free which was a surprise, particularly given how good the trees were. Everything is outdoor with the trees displayed in groupings around the space. Backdrops provide some visual separation and information boards explain their individual histories as well as telling a little about the styles of Bonsai and the history of the art form.
Individual plants are intermingled with compositions that involve many plants, sometimes over fifty different plants being incorporated into one display. The sizing of some of these is carefully tailored to give an increased sense of depth. The bases are also chosen to emphasize different elements of the plants. As with any activity, when you find out a little bit more about it, you discover just how much complexity is involved. Old trees are not as important as those that appear to be old apparently.
The place is very impressive and, if you are in Federal Way, definitely give it a look.